I have precisely two books about writing fiction: Bird by Bird and No Plot? No Problem?, so I picked up Story Engineering by Larry Brooks with excitement--until I read the prologue online.
Anyone who's been writing for a while will have glimpsed the two extremes on the planning spectrum--meticulous outliners and seat-of-the-pants-writers (pantsers). Brooks comes down firmly on the side of outliners. When he does acknowledge pantsers, it comes across as throwing a teething ring at a toddler to shut him up while the 'adults' get serious. He also doesn't allow for multiple protagonists, unhappy endings, or non-protagonist main characters. Furthermore, I found his use of Top Gun and Da Vinci Code examples extremely exasperating.
I give this book no stars because I disagree with it (and therefore am reluctant to finish it), but it was well-written and easy to follow.
I received this book for free as part of Thomas Nelson’s Blogging for Books program, but was not required to write a positive review.